Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Leyland

Lone Star Impy trucks

by Peter
Categories: Diecast models, Emergency service vehicles, Impy, Leyland, Lone Star, Trucks
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One of the many ranges produced by Lone Star was the Impy  1:76 scaled range of trucks etc.

Some of these are shown below;

Firstly these two Leyland trucks, based on the prototype Leyland gas turbine truck (see picture further down the page).

Lonestar leyland 1

Next the Merryweather Fire engine with fully extending ladders and stabilisers, also based on a Leyland/AEC cab and chassis from the  late 1960′s

Lonestar leyland 2

Lonestar leyland 3


The real Leyland gas turbine truck

The Leyland Gas Turbine Truck project evolved from Leyland’s acquisition of Rover in 1967. Rover had produced a succession of gas-turbine cars in the ‘fifties & ‘sixties and by 1968 gas-turbines had been developed for road transport.

Leyland gas turbine

Picture and text from

Dinky Supertoys, cement/concrete mixer

by Peter
Categories: Albion, Budgie, Diecast models, Dinky, Joal, Leyland, Trucks
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The Dinky Supertoys Cement mixer, number 960 was produced between 1960 and 1968, the first issues describe this as a ‘cement mixer’ on the box and later changed to ‘concrete mixer’.

Dinky cement mixer 1

This has a rotating and tipping drum, the rotation is operated via a ring gear on the drum and though to the rear wheels.

Dinky cement mixer 3

Added play value was using the tipping drum and hollow shute to pour sand or water on to your miniature building site.

Dinky cement mixer 2

This model is based on the Albion Chieftain although the mixing part of the truck doesn’t look like any mixer from the same period and assume this was designed for the play value rather than vehicle accuracy, further observations on this fact is below.

Joal also produced this model and there is speculation as to whether the Dinky dies were used or it just a very good copy, this is Joal number 202 from the 1970′s and also the Albion Chieftain, again further research is below.

Joal cement mixer1

On the other hand Budgie Toys also made a version but used the Leyland Super Comet as the basis of their truck, and a completely different drum mechanism although still a tipping type mixer, this is Budgie number 310.

Budgie Toys mixer

Some of the research I do involves not just the models but the vehicle where the inspiration and model come from.

There seems to be some discussion, and disputes over the Albion and Leyland LAD bodies produced by Dinky although to me the casting is very clear in design.

The Albion Chieftain as is the Dinky cement mixer number 960 and also the Joal mixer number 202.

Whereas the Budgie mixer is a Leyland Super Comet and so is the Dinky Marrel multi-bucket below.

Dinky skip truck 1

The proof is in the body shape, the Leyland has the wrap around lower skirt and the Albion has seperate mudguards.

You need more proof, how about the real trucks?

1961 Leyland Super Comet, note the wrap around lower skirt just above the wheels.

A Leyland Super Comet 1961

1963 Albion Chieftain no wrap around skirt and seperate mudguards.

Albion 1963 Chieftain

Real pictures from

The Motor Panels cab design used was shared with Leyland, Albion and Dodge It is therefore often referred to as the “LAD” cab (Leyland-Albion-Dodge).

The Albion is also a smaller truck that can clearly be seen by the two Dinky trucks together, also notice the mixer had the Albion crest as seen on the real truck, the bumper types are also different.

Dinky Albion-Leyland

Is the Joal casting the old Dinky dies?

Lets look at some details and you can decided for yourselves

Dinky-Joal 1

My first observation is the sharpness of the Dinky detail opposed to the Joal version also the Albion crest is missing, although this in itself proves nothing as dies wear, some of the old Airfix moulds sold to Dapol have been re-released and obvious signs of wear can be seen in the plastic mouldings now produced, and that’s plastic, now imagine what a hot metal die has to go through.

Dinky-Joal 2

The castings look at first glance to be almost identicle but my personal opinion is that this is a good copy rather than the original dies from Dinky.

The Dinky mixer design

Possibly to you and certainly me, the mixer looks too small as to what we are used to seeing, also the way it works doesn’t follow the real mixers seen mounted on all of our past and present concrete trucks.

First the models above have a tipping drum, secondly the ring gear operation is not used on the concrete mixers I know as they are driven directly from the rear of the drum, unloading is achieved by reversing the drum and a long screw paddle inside the drum discharges the contents, and more like the picture below of an Albion of the same era as the Dinky mixer.


The idea of a tipping mixer and the ring gear is the same as most older small cement mixers used on building sites, they tip to discharge and operate via a ring gear on the outside of the drum, this leads me to believe that the design was inspired by site cement mixers rather than a lorry mounted design of the day, an old diesel site mixer seen below shows the exposed ring gear and also notice the cradle design, also similar to the Dinky mixer.


If such a lorry existed then no picture or information now existing on the internet or my vast book collection of lorries and construction plant.

There is a possiblity this type of mixer did exist and may of been for batching large amount of mortar for the 1950′s building boom, but without pictures , this I can not verify.

The original concrete mixer was designed in America way back in  1933 and even then looks more like a modern concrete truck than the Dinky mixer does.






Base Toys, Leyland FG, Commer Karrier

by Peter
Categories: Austin, Base Toys, Commer, Diecast models, Karrier, Leyland, Trucks
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Base Toys have been around a while now and have been released by a company in Hong Kong mainly aimed at the model railway collectors, finding out anything about the company however has proved almost impossible.
Base Toys are now known as BT Models according to many websites but little else is known.

This first model is the Leyland FG and I found it at a boot sale for a few pounds and really impressed with the detail, these certainly give the likes of Oxford Diecast and Corgi Trackside models a run for their money and generally seem to be trucks and cars other makers have neglected to produce.

I have no number or dates for this model but is believed to be an obsolete version although other Leyland FG models are still in the current line up, these are all 1:76 scale.

To try and find out more about the maker, I bought a new boxed Commer Karrier and again really pleased with it, the detail has improved on this later issue model and has tiny wing mirrors fitted and has glass headlights rather than painted on.


I do however have a number for this one and is D-95, the box tells me little else other than made in Hong Kong, they are around about the same cost as Oxford Diecast.


Overall though good quality models in 1:76 scale and a great addition to any model railway layout or diecast collection.

So Base Toys, whoever you are, if you have a website let me know and I will link to it!

The real trucks

Leyland FG

As well as the well known cars Austin also made commercial vehicles, one of which was the FG, previously the Morris FG. The FG was the workhorse that kept Britain running in the 1960s. These Austin FGs and later the Leyland FGs all had petrol or diesel longstroke engines, producing good torque, but very little in the way of speed (40 mph was a good speed out of these vehicles).

The Morris FG (and its Austin S200 sibling) went into production in 1960, differing only in badges and grilles. Their unique cab design tapered towards the rear and had rear-hinged doors which could be opened without projecting beyond the vehicle sides. Below the windscreen corner glass panels helped drivers to park in confined spaces. The FG was designed from weights of 30cwt up to 5-tonnes, and replaced models from both FE and LC ranges.

Commer Karrier


Commer was a British manufacturer of commercial vehicles which existed from 1905 until 1979.

In 1926, after being in receivership several times, Commer was taken over by Humber, which in 1931 became part of the Rootes Group.

The Commer name was replaced by the Dodge name during the 1970s following the takeover of Rootes by Chrysler Europe. After Peugeot purchased Chrysler Europe in 1978, the Commer factory was run in partnership with the truck division of Renault, Renault Trucks. It continued to produce the Dodge commercial truck range for some time, with Renault badges and a small amount of product development, eventually these were cancelled in favour of mainstream Renault models and switching production at the factory to production of Renault truck and bus engines in the early 1990s.

Commer acquired the Karrier company as part of Rootes acquisition of Karrier in 1934. In the early 1960s production moved to Dunstable where Commer, Dodge (UK) and Karrier were all brought together.

The Karrier trademark is now owned by Peugeot.

Text from Wikipedia

Skip Trucks

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Corgi Juniors, Diecast models, Ford, Husky, Leyland, Majorette, Matchbox, Scania, Trucks
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Skip lorries, it seems, have been around forever but didn’t really hit the streets in the UK until the 60′s

Diecast makers  have made many trucks over the years a few are below.

Firstly we have the Matchbox Superkings number K28 and released in 1977 and based on a Bedford TM truck chassis

Much later in 1985 this truck evolved into a Leyland truck using the same skip body and the same skip, this is number K123 and has vastly improved wheels with front steering, although the amber roof beacons seem to be lost in the holes provided in the casting

On the smaller scale Matchbox created a Ford Cargo skip truck and made available in different colour versions, numbered MB45 and with later type wheels, released in 1986 and made in Thailand.

An earlier Matchbox skip truck was a rather futuristic design and numbered 37 and released back in 1977, this one is still easy to get in many different colours.

Below an early Husky skip truck based on the Bedford TK and complete with a diecast skip, this was numbered as 27 and Released in 1964 and  withdrawn in 1969, it was briefly part of the Corgi Juniors range too.

Corgi Juniors also made a Ford skip truck but this time based on the Ford D1000 from the 60′s, numbered 54 and listed as a Ford Container Truck.

And lastly one from the French diecast maker Majorette based on a Scania chassis, numbered 222 and listed as Multibenne

Related articles;

Joal Skip truck

Dinky Marrel multi-bucket

Dinky Convoy skip truck


The real trucks

History of the skip

In 1914, Antoine Marrel, a Berthier car dealer at St-Etienne with a passion for mechanics, dedicated his time and skills to developing a lifting/hanging device. It was the beginning of a great story, and in 1919 The Societe Bennes Marrel was created. The company acquired its fame by launching the very first dumpster activated with cables and gallows.
The Marrel Multibenne or multibucket was designed by Antoine Marrel himself.

It was in the 1960s that the skip as we know it came into its own, beginning its 50-year rise as the bulk waste disposal method of choice for both the domestic and the commercial markets.

Back in the early 1920s the shipping industry in Southport began to use a type of container that loosely resembled a skip and which was removed by a petrol-engine lorry as opposed to the horse-drawn refuse carts that were commonly used throughout the town. For most commercial waste disposal, however, tipper wagons remained the most common option. These were delivered to site by a team, which waited while it was hand or machine loaded before removing it again. The result, however, was the effective double handling of rubbish and the wasting of the delivery team’s time while the wagon was loaded.

By the time the 1960s arrived, the boom in real estate development coupled with an expanding industrial sector meant that volumes increased and time became precious, leading to the development of the modern day skip. These were originally developed in Germany and were adopted by a London company called George Cross & Co., which quickly set about introducing the concept to a ready and willing UK market.

The original skips came in a “one-size-fits-all” format of around six cubic yards and remained that way for many years until skip hire companies embraced the changing needs of the market and developed a range of sizes shapes to suit different uses and waste volumes.